How Ipswich will evolve this century

IPSWICH in 2025 will be unrecognisable from the town today if the council's core development framework gets the go-ahead from central government.

IPSWICH in 2025 will be unrecognisable from the town today if the council's core development framework gets the go-ahead from central government.

The objective outlined in the document is to make Ipswich “a more vibrant, active, and attractive county town successfully combining modern development and historic character - a true focus for Suffolk and beyond.

“It will be a place where people aspire to live, work, learn, visit and invest - and it will have a reduced carbon footprint.”

Sustainability is the key. To achieve this vision of Utopia on the banks of the River Gipping, car travel into the town centre will become a thing of the past.

Pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users will come first, with traffic management measures in place to ensure there are effective green travel links to the town centre from the suburbs.

Among the council's aspirations for the town is an enhanced public transport system, which could include routes dedicated to guided buses, the creation of an urban light railway or the introduction of either trams or monorail.

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No matter how many houses are eventually built on the northern fringe, a green corridor will link it with the town centre to encourage residents to walk, cycle, or use new express public transport links to access the central are for work and leisure.

Relegating cars “will enable direct, attractive, safe and well signed pedestrian links to be established between the waterfront, Ipswich Village, education quarters and railway station to the central shopping area.”

That shopping area will be extended and improved, with new stores, while cultural and sporting activities will be enhanced in the area.

Ipswich's green credentials which already include some of Britain's finest parks will be enhanced by the completion of the river path and there will be additional tree planting and landscaping in new development and on the streets.

Hedgerows will be given the same status as trees, to be protected in all new building projects.

The next 15 years will see the development of a strategic employment site at the former Cranes factory and the completion of University Campus Suffolk.

Strategic health services will be concentrated at Ipswich Hospital, the network of doctors' surgeries and health centres will be strengthened with replacements or additions to the Lattice Barn, Woodbridge Road, and Deben Road surgeries, and investment will be directed on local shopping and housing areas to create “strong and cohesive” communities.

The one big downside is the need for better east-west communications. A bridge and new road across the Wet Dock and a northern by-pass are envisaged, but the council leadership acknowledges that the schemes may not get the support of the county council, regional authority, and the Ministry of Transport.